Saturday, September 8, 2007


Helping Paws, Inc of Minnesota just achieved a huge milestone when it completed the accreditation process with Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and was recommended for accreditation.

What does accreditation mean? Simply put, that Helping Paws meets the highest standards, as defined by ADI, for training and placement of service dogs matched with individuals that will rely on these dogs for their health and safety. The accreditation process is rigorous, culminating in a two day, on-site review that according to the ADI website covers "safety and cleanliness of the training facility, fair and ethical treatment of clients, proper health care for the dogs, humane training methods for the dogs, criteria for screening suitability of both dogs and clients, criteria for matching dogs and clients, and compliance with all legal regulations". Whew! No wonder the staff has been a bit stressed this summer!

I guess I know now why our instructors and our foster home coordinator are so insistent on turning in the public training and vet records for each of our dogs.

Although the staff at Helping Paws makes this effort appear easy it is anything but. They are constantly working on improving their teaching methods, getting - and acting - on feedback from clients as well as foster homes, fundraising to improve the training facility and provide supplies and medical care for both the dogs in training as well as for the dogs that have been placed. The state of Minnesota is lucky to have such a wonderful program within its borders. Those of us who are lucky enough to be foster homes and clients are blessed to be able to work with such skilled, committed individuals that make up the staff of Helping Paws.

Each of them deserve a big "snuggle" from the Helping Paws dogs attending tonight's Tail Waggin' Dinner!

No comments: